The State Department today hosted a ministerial anti-terrorism cooperation in America meeting, in which it called on representatives of 12 countries of the continent to coordinate the fight against the Islamic State (Dāʿash), Al Qaeda and Hezbollah groups.
Assistant Secretary of State John Sullivan opened the meeting by calling for increased security collaboration for the fight against terrorism in a "broader range of participants, including civil society and community leaders, the private sector and religious figures."
"We will continue to lead the fight against ISIS, Al Qaeda and Lebanese Hezbollah, but we also ask our allies and partners to join us in that fight and to do more," said Sullivan.
“Senior officials” from Argentina, the Bahamas, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago, while Brazil participated as an observer attended the meeting, the State Department said in a statement.
Sullivan acknowledged that the countries of the Americas have "valuable experience" in the fight against terrorism and urged them to be attentive to the Dāʿash and Al Qaeda, which transmit their message "vigorously strong"; as well as the Lebanese Shi'ite organization Hezbollah, which acts more "discreetly".
Speaking about Hezbollah, Sullivan cited the 1994 attack on the Mutual Association Israelite Argentina (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, which left 85 dead and which the Jewish community attributes to the Lebanese group.
"In 1994, Hezbollah killed 85 people and wounded hundreds more in Buenos Aires in the attack on AMIA, only two years after attacking the Israeli embassy there. We are grateful that attacks of that scale have been prevented since then, but many governments face Hezbollah plots on a regular basis," he said.
In its latest report on terrorism in the world, the State Department warned that Hezbollah "maintained interest in the region" during 2017.
According to press reports, the Trump government is considering adding Venezuela to its list of states sponsoring terrorism, due to the alleged links between Caracas with Hezbollah and the Colombian FARC and ELN groups.
The inclusion of a country in that "black list" implies the imposition of economic restrictions on the sale of weapons and a veto on economic aid.